altj

You get the feeling that a lot of people have got alt-J wrong, on account of their class (middle, and unfashionably white), their origins in the Home Counties, all that business of having a triangle for a name, their genuine disregard for fashion (both in image and the music they make) and, perhaps most unfairly of all, the runaway success of 2012 debut ‘An Awesome Wave’. To some, a guitar album that became as ubiquitous as that simply adds up to Mumford & Sons or Coldplay, whilst ignoring that alt-J have achieved all that they have on a modest indie label and with tracks that never really should have made it to radio. Their plan was never so crass; it just so happened that Fearne Cotton liked them and she happened to have the attention of 5 million people a day.

Nothing has changed for ‘All This Is Yours’; a collection of poised folktronica that is all the making of this band, with dabs of hip-hop, dustbin lid drums, the odd yodel and the group’s trademark a capella vocals. There’s a pastoral interlude in ‘Garden Of England’, what sounds like an old Badly Drawn Boy film score in ‘Arrival In Nara’ and moments so quiet (‘Warm Foothills’, ‘Pusher’) that they almost stop altogether. ‘Left Hand Free’, convincingly aping ‘Thick Freakiness’-era Black Key, might well be uncharacteristic in its brazen hook, but on a record that also samples Miley Cyrus with little fanfare, alt-J really are more considered than their adoption by the general public lets on.

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